Last night marked the winter solstice — the longest night of the year. Today the days grow longer, even as we reach into the deep belly of winter here in Northern Vermont and elsewhere. The solstice marks the end of a long contraction, started six months ago at the summer solstice. We are now expanding.
We go through a mini-solstice expansion and contraction cycle each time we breathe. Each time we draw in the next new breath, we’ve completed a cycle of contraction and are now expanding. We embody the changing seasons within us.
We celebrate the solstice and we, too, can celebrate each breath as a renewal of life. Breathing is a constant reminder of impermanence and an invitation to be with change as the nature of the universe. It’s an invitation to see if we are trying to impose our own agenda of constancy onto things that are constantly changing. That, of course, is frustrating, and futile.
So enjoy the this change and, indeed, each change in each moment — whether expanding or contracting.